Through the 1980's water parks started to become more popular and theme parks began to invest in new water based attractions in an effort to compete. While some parks constructed full water parks adjacent to their properties, others invested in new dry-water slide type attractions to beef up their arsenal of rides.
|For the 1991 season, Six Flags Great Adventure introduced an entirely new themed area called Adventure Rivers. This new section incorporated two existing water rides and a collection of brand new dry-water attractions all of which were themed to the great rivers of the world. The dry-water slides did not require guests to wear bathing suits but instead could participate in their theme park attire. The largest and most impressive looking of Adventure Rivers' three slide complexes was the Asian Rivers.
|The centerpiece of Adventure Rivers was themed to Asia. It featured the existing Hydro Flume ride which was renamed Irrawady Riptide, and located within its winding flume, a massive Asian Rivers water slide tower. The Asian Rivers tower was the most eye catching with its bright red and yellow twisting tube slides. It was also one of the most complicated construction projects in Adventure Rivers, requiring concrete footers to be built in the existing reservoir for the Hydro Flume ride. The wooden framework for both the tower and the slides was quite complex, reaching more than 60 feet into the air and resembling the timber structure of a wooden roller coaster.
|Once completed, the Asian Rivers tower was adorned with ornate dragon accents and the brilliant colors of the imposing structure made it really stand out. Guests waiting for the ride winded their way around the tower structure and loaded rafts on a platform that was higher than the neighboring flume ride. Often guests at the top of the tower would wave to passing flume boats with flume riders returning the greeting. Being at the center of the Adventure Rivers area made the Asian Rivers tower the most popular of the slide complexes, drawing the longest lines.
|All the Adventure Rivers slides used small inflatable two person rubber rafts that were provided by the ride operators at the top of each ride. The slides were designed so guests wouldn't need swimsuits to ride - they would get splashed but generally not soaking wet. After their winding journey and once unloaded, another operator would take the empty raft from the slide and place it onto a series of conveyor belts that would take it back up the tower for even more riders.
|All of four of the Asian Rivers slides were completely enclosed
- from the loading platform down to the unloading area at ground level.
While some sunlight did penetrate the fiberglass tube material during
the day, at night the ride was in nearly complete darkness except for an
occasional lighting fixture built into the top of the tubes every 25
feet or so.
Often, guests would scream and laugh making their way through the enclosed tube. Patrons near the unloading area could hear their muffled sounds coming out of the end of the tube as they made their way to the bottom of the ride.
|The Adventure Rivers
slides were all quite popular especially in the heat of summer, but guests really
wanted a full water park experience. After
the end of the 1998 season most of the attractions of Adventure Rivers
were removed, including the Asian Rivers tower and its sisters, the
African and North American Rivers. The slides were removed
to make room for the addition of a brand new children's area in 1999
known as Looney Tunes Seaport.
Towards the end of the 1999 season, the park announced the addition of Six Flags Hurricane Harbor for the 2000 season, filling the void left with the removal of Adventure Rivers with an entirely new water park.
Several small remnants of the Asian Rivers slides, the foundation footings which had been added in the Hydro Flume's reservoir, remained for eight years after the rides' removal until the flume itself was removed prior to the 2007 season.
|Original Spotlight: May 18, 2007; Updated: January 8, 2017. GAH Reference #: RIDE-1991-002